Tits, Asses And Bare Chested Dwarfs...Give Me More | STFUandPlay

Tits, Asses And Bare Chested Dwarfs…Give Me More

By Torrence Davis Fri, May 03, 2013 - 6:55:38

As an old school gamer and a huge fan of 2D brawlers, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Dragon’s Crown for PS3 and VITA.  Vanillaware fills a void in todays game industry.  Not only do they respect the mechanics of retro style video games, but they also have a knack for some very unique and beautiful art design.  Recently, an article was posted on Kotaku disrespecting Vanillaware’s president and artist, George Kamitani.  This article was posted in response to the over-sexualized character art presented in the game.  The tone of the article was harsh, childish and unprofessional.  It was written by Jason Schreier, from the upcoming White Knight Chronicles III.

Schreier’s first post was an unveiling of the latest trailer for Dragon’s Crown.  Instead of properly editorializing the post, he took it upon himself to shame Kamitani.

This is the newest trailer for Dragon’s Crown, the Vanillaware-developed game that will be out this year for PS3 and Vita. It features the sorceress, one character from the game. As you can see, the sorceress was designed by a 14-year-old boy. Perhaps game development studios should stop hiring teenagers? At least they’re cheap, I guess.

The nerve of him right?  Why not properly promote the game and the developers? Shortly after that post was made, Kamitani responded with this image:

dragon's crown george kamitani

The text accompanying the image reads:

“It seems that Mr. Jason Schreier of Kotaku is pleased also with neither sorceress nor amazon,” Kamitani wrote. “The art of the direction which he likes was prepared.”

Several people have jumped on the Kamitani hate bandwagon by implying that he was either making fun of gay men or accusing Jason Schreier of being gay.  I don’t know about you, but if someone told me they didn’t like scantily clad women but had no complaints about scantily clad men, I would assume they were gay too…and that’s not a bad thing.

What’s even worse is that Jason not only expected Kamitani to apologize, but also posted the apology on Kotaku to milk even more hits off of this forced controversy.  Kamitani is an artist and a game developer, he shouldn’t have to apologize for his work.  He also shouldn’t have to compromise his artistic expression due to the reality of sexism.  Sexism exists because of men who don’t respect women, not because of men who love to draw women with big breasts.

Not too long after the Kotaku debacle, PAR’s Ben Kuchera wrote a piece of his own.  His response was well thought out and I agreed with some of what he said.  He mentioned the fact that his 9-year old daughter disliked the way that the women in the game are dressed.  As a parent, he gets to choose what content is appropriate for his children.  In the case of Dragon’s Crown, it’s not made for children.  I contacted Atlus and they had this to say about the rating, “It’s still RP, but we’re expecting a T for Teen rating from the ESRB.” So I would think that maybe this isn’t the type of game he wants his daughter playing based on the rating AND the content.

Shaylyn Hamm, an artist from Gearbox Software, wrote this about DC’s sultry sorceress on The Escapist’s forums, “I want to see more women getting interested in games and game development, but stuff like this only serves to further cement the idea that you’re stepping into a male hobby rather than something that is more inclusive.” 

I would think that if you have a game with powerful female and male characters that gamers of all genders would want to play.  She then went on and equated George Kamitani to a criminal.  “Also, this is the first time I’ve seen that character and holy shit, ahahahahahaha. That’s actually something that made its way into a basically finished video game, fucking lol! Some juvenile delinquent kid in my 5th grade class used to draw girls that looked like that (only without the creepy blank, featureless samefaces and wizard hats), and I think he was actually better at it. I also think he’s in jail now. This is amazing.

So one of the most regarded Japanese developers in the industry has been referred to as a gay bashing criminal, based purely on his artistic expression.  Everyone has a right to an opinion, but that opinion should be professional, especially in the context of an interview or news post.  Jason Schreier not only showed his immaturity as a journalist, but also his lack of respect for Japanese game developers. 

To imply that sexism in the workplace is a by-product of over-sexualized game characters is just as absurd as politicians preaching that gun violence is the fault of fps games.  If you take a brief look at the most controversial stories in gaming in the past year, you’d think that some journalists actually hated gaming and wanted it to die. Sites just like Kotaku thrive off of controversy and if they can’t find it, they’ll make it up themselves.

What boils my blood even more is that fact that they think this game is geared toward men because of the art design.  Does it really matter if this game is geared toward men or women?  And what about the women who agree that scantily clad females are sexy and actually WANT to play them?  Hamm, Schreier and even Kuchera all made assumptions about Dragon’s Crown and it’s audience, without a single copy of the game being sold yet.  We also have no idea if women as a whole are actually turned off by this game.  We know nothing, yet these entitled cry babies seem to have the knowledge of a prophet. 

Dragon’s Crown is an old school, 2D, action RPG/Brawler.  It pays homage to games like D&D, Final Fight, Golden Axe, Magician Lord and Guardian Heroes.  Why is something so trivial as art design overshadowing the games greatness?  Whatever happened to just enjoying a game for what it is?  It seems like in today’s video game journalism, you aren’t relevant unless you are speaking out against what you believe is wrong.  Everyone has a soapbox and has a right to an opinion, but sometimes gamers don’t need to hear that opinion.  This is why games journalism has gone to shit.  Dragon’s Crown is desperately needed in this chasm full of sequels and lackluster gameplay.  It reminds us of how it all started and why we should appreciate what we have today. 

Original artwork provided by: E-Mann

 

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